Nationals Sign Jayson Werth

The headline is not a misprint; the Washington Nationals have indeed signed outfielder Jayson Werth.

Wow. Or is it, “Sham-Wow” ?

Reportedly, the Nats gave the 31-year-old outfielder a 7-year, $126M contract. To which Mets GM Sandy Alderson responded,

I thought they were trying to reduce the deficit in Washington.

Nice one, Sandy.

My SweetSpot buddy Bill Baer put it this way, which only fans of CSI: Miami can appreciate:

In all seriousness, this is a shocking development, changing the winter meetings dramatically. For example, within hours of the announcement, the Red Sox re-doubled on their efforts to sign and acquire Adrian Gonzalez. The signing also jacks up the price for Carl Crawford, and confirms the notion that the Phillies need to find a way to replace Werth’s bat in the lineup. Yes, they have Domonic Brown penciled in to RF, but can they count on Raul Ibanez to be productive again? Or will they try to find another corner outfielder? Similarly, with Werth off the market, will the Red Sox set their sights on Crawford, or are they content with what they have?

Could the Werth signing make Carlos Beltran and/or Angel Pagan more valuable as trading chips, to teams who were considering Werth?

Perhaps more intriguing, what the heck are the Nationals thinking, and what shocking move will they make next? Are they going to make a serious effort to improve their pitching staff, and add more “win now” – type players?

If nothing else, this week could be one of the more active and interesting winter meetings in several years.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Walnutz15 December 6, 2010 at 8:16 am
    More power to Werth — and really, don’t stop ’til ya get enough (I guess)…but are we serious here?!

    The Nats have flipped their lids. When does Zimmerman hit the open market — lol

    They’ll be paying through the nose to keep him.

  2. CatchDog December 6, 2010 at 9:49 am
    This could very well top Gary Matthews Jr’s 5 year – 50 million dollar deal in terms of blockhead stupidity.

    7 years? Yikes.

    Maybe Jayson could run in the Prez Race during every home game to help earn that paycheck.

  3. The Earl of Sports December 6, 2010 at 5:00 pm
    Werth will hit .265 and underachieve since he’ll be the big fish and won’t be able to stand it. It also doesn’t help that their offense will have no one to protect him (Ian Desmond? Pluuuueeezzze). Morgan came down to earth and who knows who should hit second. This is another example of an owner listening to Boras and a GM trying to make a splash. Loved Alderson’s comments on this.
    • Joe Janish December 6, 2010 at 10:17 pm
      Hey Earl, good to hear from you.

      The winter has yet begun; the Nats have plenty of time to sign another Boras client — Carlos Pena– to an 8-year, $190M deal to protect Werth in the lineup.

  4. Kirk0007 December 6, 2010 at 7:58 pm
    I’m a Phillies fan, but I agree with Alderson. $126M for an inconsistent hitter with a seven-year contract is a recipe for disaster. At least we know the Nats are still cannon fodder for Philly and NY bats alike.